The Ivy Green

Original Text: 
The Poems and Verses of Charles Dickens, ed. F. G. Kitton (London: Chapman and Hall, 1903): 36-37. Ver 8.90.148 Cambridge University Library
1Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
2That creepeth o'er ruins old!
3Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
4In his cell so lone and cold.
5The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
6To pleasure his dainty whim:
7And the mouldering dust that years have made
8Is a merry meal for him.
9     Creeping where no life is seen,
10     A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
11Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
12And a staunch old heart has he.
13How closely he twineth, how tight he clings,
14To his friend the huge Oak Tree!
15And slily he traileth along the ground,
16And his leaves he gently waves,
17As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
18The rich mould of dead men's graves.
19     Creeping where grim death has been,
20     A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
21Whole ages have fled and their works decayed,
22And nations have scattered been;
23But the stout old Ivy shall never fade,
24From its hale and hearty green.
25The brave old plant, in its lonely days,
26Shall fatten upon the past:
27For the stateliest building man can raise,
28Is the Ivy's food at last.
29     Creeping on, where time has been,
30     A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
Publication Start Year: 
1836
Publication Notes: 
This poem belongs to Dickens' novel Pickwick Papers.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002